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‘Captain Jack’
Jack Hinson’s One-Man War: A Civil War Sniper by Tom C. McKenney


2009, Gretna, Louisiana, Pelican, 400 pages

In this exhaustive biography of Jack Hinson and his family, Tom C. McKenney weaves an operational overview of Confederate and Union forces in Middle Tennessee from the vantage of terrorized civilians, and he does so from a military perspective, being a decorated Marine who served in both Korea and Vietnam. The brutality of Union officers and soldiers towards civilians and their almost complete ineffectiveness against irregular forces, from Forest’s uniformed troopers to outlaws and guerilla partisans, exposes a more than century old lack of warrior ethics among American combatants. McKenney, certainly does not go in for this—my—impression, but he also stands as an example of how the induction of Southern men into the U.S. military eventually imparted some sense of warriorhood into the armed forces of a morally bankrupt banker nation.

The author’s knowledge of sniping and of the very terrain and surviving family of this unsung American hero imparts a great deal of human culture in a realistic context. McKenney helps us understand the man who might just be the real life Solomon Kane.

When Union troops murder two of Hinson’s sons and placed their heads on his gate posts, Jack swears a patient vengeance, safeguards his hunted family, frees and continues to look after those folk known as “The Black Hinsons,” for just like most non-combatant populations faced with American military occupation, the blacks of the south were also targeted for atrocities by the essentially atheistic Union Military machine, where the vast majority of Confederate commanders applied Christian ethics to the treatment of enemy non-combatants. I found McKenney’s clean view of the conflict from the vantage of a vengeful father, highly predictive of today’s federal attitude towards people living under the current military occupation in this country.

Captain Jack, as he came to be known, tried to stay out of the war that would consume seven of his children and conducted himself with decency throughout the conflict, even turning late in the war to hunting desperados—deserters from both armies—who were terrorizing pro-Confederate and pro-Union folk alike. This man singlehandedly fought a war across three rugged counties against the satanic war machine which would not leave him to live in peace and also against the criminals set loose by the bloodiest American war.

Hinson’s sons and grandsons would go on to be warriors, some serving in the U.S. military and one, his grandson Joe Hinson avenged the death of his father, Jack’s son, Ab Hinson, by knifing one of the murderers and displaying his heart—cut from the breast of the coward back-shooter—at the very spot were Ab was slain.

As for Captain Jack’s story, you should read the book, which should be an inspiration to any man who finds himself living under enemy occupation.

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Add Comment
Hugh MaguireOctober 2, 2018 12:56 PM UTC

Die Warwulf, about a group of peasants who fight off all comers set during Germany’s 30 years war is another excellent book on this same subject.
WellRead EdSeptember 30, 2018 8:52 PM UTC

Jack Hinson is a superb example of what a patient and calculating man can do against a government Leviathan. It should be required reading in police academies across the nation, as a cautionary tale of what can happen when you violate the Constitutional Rights of an armed and determined population.

There is also the lesson for those that reside within Dindustan; distance is your friend.